Jan Mayen

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PAGE LAST UPDATED ON MAY 25, 2011
Flag of Jan Mayen
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OF JAN MAYEN
 

Introduction

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This desolate, arctic, mountainous island was named after a Dutch whaling captain who indisputably discovered it in 1614 (earlier claims are inconclusive). Visited only occasionally by seal hunters and trappers over the following centuries, the island came under Norwegian sovereignty in 1929. The long dormant Beerenberg volcano resumed activity in 1970; the most recent eruption occurred in 1985. It is the northernmost active volcano on earth.
 
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Geography

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Northern Europe, island between the Greenland Sea and the Norwegian Sea, northeast of Iceland
 
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71 00 N, 8 00 W
 
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total: 377 sq km
country comparison to the world: 205
land: 377 sq km
water: 0 sq km
 
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slightly more than twice the size of Washington, DC
 
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0 km
 
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124.1 km
 
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territorial sea: 4 nm
contiguous zone: 10 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 m depth or to the depth of exploitation
 
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arctic maritime with frequent storms and persistent fog
 
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volcanic island, partly covered by glaciers
 
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lowest point: Norwegian Sea 0 m
highest point: Haakon VII Toppen on Beerenberg 2,277 m
note: Beerenberg volcano has numerous peaks; the highest point on the volcano rim is named Haakon VII Toppen, after Norway's first king following the reestablishment of Norwegian independence in 1905
 
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none
 
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arable land: 0%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 100% (2005)
 
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0 sq km
 
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dominated by the volcano Beerenberg
volcanism: Beerenberg (elev. 2,227 m) is Norway's only active volcano; volcanic activity resumed in 1970; the most recent eruption occurred in 1985
 
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NA
 
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barren volcanic island with some moss and grass
 
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People and Society

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no indigenous inhabitants
note: personnel operate the Long Range Navigation (Loran-C) base and the weather and coastal services radio station
 
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Government

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conventional long form: none
conventional short form: Jan Mayen
 
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territory of Norway; since August 1994, administered from Oslo through the county governor (fylkesmann) of Nordland; however, authority has been delegated to a station commander of the Norwegian Defense Communication Service
 
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the laws of Norway, where applicable, apply
 
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the flag of Norway is used
 
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Economy

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Jan Mayen is a volcanic island with no exploitable natural resources, although surrounding waters contain substantial fish stocks and potential untapped petroleum resources. Economic activity is limited to providing services for employees of Norway's radio and meteorological stations on the island.
 
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Communications

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a coastal radio station has been remotely operated since 1994 (2008)
 
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Transportation

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1 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 237
 
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total: 1
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1 (2010)
 
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none; offshore anchorage only
 
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Military

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defense is the responsibility of Norway
 
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Transnational Issues

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none
 
 
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